A spring in our steps
Sunday March 28th 2010, 11:19 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

We were walking into church today and I saw, at a side angle as we approached…

Back up a moment here.  For years now I have had visual memory damage and a specific difficulty with recognizing faces of people I’ve only recently met or that I don’t often see.

…And yet, “MICKEY!?!” burst loudly out of me before she’d even turned around.

Sixteen years.  It had been sixteen years. She was the young grandma with neon-(wait, I forget–was it purple? Fuschia?  Blue?  I think it varied.  Punk-spiked and wild-colored, anyway) hair.  Her grandkids were just slightly younger than my kids. Who did not have a California Cool-version grandma quite like my Norwegian-born friend Mickey. I adored her.  Always will.  And somehow my soul refused to let my memory damage defeat me or even slow me down, not for one instant, the moment I saw her today.  I’m still trying to figure out how it could have been so (and her hair was normal now), but… !

Her daughter had moved to Washington State, and Mickey with her, in 1994. I did not get to see those children growing up with mine, and I have wished it could have been otherwise.

She turned at hearing her name and took me in for a full two seconds before it hit her and, “OH!” as she threw her arms around me.  She was too kind to say anything like, when did your hair go so gray? Where are all your little kids?  How did you get so old?  Where on earth did that cane come from?

GOOD to have you HOME, Mickey!!

After church, we sat and just talked, not enough, oh, never long enough, but till I was afraid I was wearing out her friend who was waiting to take her back with her where she was staying. (Thank you, Jean!)

Why had she come? I asked.

Simply because it was time to see old friends.  Just because.

Okay, now, that is a thought to live by. Grab your plane tickets, let’s go.

And in the meantime.  While Richard was sitting waiting patiently for me by the main doors, he was being charmed by a young mom’s two-year-old daughter waiting with her mommy for her daddy to be ready to go, too.  He described the scene later over dinner: if her mommy asked her a question, she had to jump up and down before she could start to answer with a giggle. Bouncy bouncy bounce. Every question. Every time.  She was *so* cute.

Michelle, intrigued, asked, And did she have blonde curls?

Richard: Oh, yes!

Michelle: Oh, that’s just too perfect.

Richard: Yes, it’s exactly how you used to bounce; you didn’t walk, you bounced, jumping up and down with each step.

Michelle: And singing Little Mermaid!

Me, laughing: Oh, boy did you sing Little Mermaid!

Michelle went on to tell us a vivid memory of hers, long forgotten by either of us: her daddy was crossing the street with her to the Double Rainbow ice cream store downtown, a very special treat, one-on-one Daddy time to celebrate her birthday, when suddenly she realized: she hadn’t sung her song! She hadn’t bounced! She was so excited that she’d forgotten and she’d actually *walked*!  THAT’S not how you do it!

And to Richard’s horror, she’d darted back across that often-busy street so she could do the job right.  Bouncy bounce, sing Little Mermaid.  There you go. Did it right that time (and, I’m sure, with her daddy’s hand holding tightly to hers just in case this time).

She remembers that sense of satisfaction in getting it right.  Uh uh uhhh, uh uh uh-uhhhhhhhh. Put joy in the world!

At any age. At any time.  In any color.  Curly, punk, blonde, blue.

I want to see Mickey’s daughter and grandchildren; I say, the reunions have only just begun.

And I hope to see my young-mom friend’s exuberant little daughter grow up here, so her mother and I can swap tales in some day to come over when we had cute little girls always jumping up and down for the sheer joy of being alive and well loved.

Maybe I should go spike my hair.

(And as I finish typing this, Michelle is singing Easter music in the background.)

8 Comments so far
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Speaking as a mom/grandmother/RS president with spiky hair, I say “go for it”. (If you do it, and you hate it, well, it’s hair; it will grow out.)

Comment by Lynn 03.29.10 @ 12:03 am

Your hair is lovely as it is! You can live “spikey” on the inside (I mean that in a good, joyful, bouncy way!)

Comment by LynnM 03.29.10 @ 1:18 am

Lucy loves to dance. To anything; theme music at the end of a show, Robb’s music, mine — something catches her ear, and she’s suddenly bopping in place, her little hands moving all around. Last night, I asked her for something, and she looked at me like I’d sprouted a third eye and said “Mama, I dancing.” I’m busy, woman, wait a minute, will ya?

Quite wonderful.

Comment by Kristine 03.29.10 @ 2:48 am

you know, one of the things I most miss now that my daughter is an adult with her own home is hearing her sing — she has a beautiful soprano voice, and I just miss the music

what a wonderful post! it’s enough to make me consider again cutting my hair to 2 inches long all over and spraying it with red glitter hairspray!!

Comment by Bev 03.29.10 @ 7:17 am

Wow, you seem to have a knack for recognizing people from times past. I certainly remember the day you recognized me at Trader Joe’s, but we haven’t had the opportunity to really sit down and have a conversation.

Let’s see … you with spikey hair … I think LynnM is right — live spikey, bouncy on the inside.

Other fun —

* We could learn a lot from crayons… Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Comment by Don Meyer 03.29.10 @ 9:39 am

Thank you for teh joy full post :-}

Comment by Diana Troldahl 03.29.10 @ 12:25 pm

Or at least a neon blue stripe on the left?

Wonderful memories!

Comment by Lene 03.29.10 @ 4:29 pm

What fun! Reunions are so sweet…

Comment by Chan 03.30.10 @ 7:51 am

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